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Episode 391             Episode 393
Episode 392

Pioneer Helmet
Fri, 2018-Jun-01 00:30 UTC
Length - 2:46

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Friday, 1 June 2018 is Pioneer Helmet.

The Pioneer Helmet (also known as the Wollaston Helmet or Northamptonshire Helmet) is a boar-crested Anglo-Saxon helmet from the late seventh century found in Wollaston, Northamptonshire. It was discovered during a March 1997 excavation before the land was to be exploited for gravel and was part of the grave of a young man. Other objects in the grave, such as a hanging bowl and a pattern welded sword, suggest that it was the burial mound of a high-status warrior.

The sparsely decorated nature of the helmet, a utilitarian iron fighting piece, belies its rarity. It is one of six Anglo-Saxon helmets yet discovered, joined by finds from Benty Grange, Sutton Hoo, York, Shorwell and Staffordshire; its basic form is nearly identical to that of the richer Coppergate helmet found in York. Like these, the Pioneer Helmet is an example of the "crested helmets" that flourished in England and Scandinavia from the sixth through eleventh centuries.

The distinctive feature of the helmet is the boar mounted atop its crest. Boar-crested helmets are a staple of Anglo-Saxon imagery, evidence of a Germanic tradition in which the boar invoked the protection of the gods. The Pioneer Helmet is one of three—together with the Benty Grange helmet and the detached Guilden Morden boar—known to have survived. These boar crests recall a time when such decoration may have been common; the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf, in which boar-adorned helmets are mentioned five times, speaks of a funeral pyre "heaped with boar-shaped helmets forged in gold," forging a link between the warrior hero of legend and the Pioneer Helmet of reality.

The helmet was named after Pioneer Aggregates UK Ltd, who funded its excavation and conservation. It was unveiled at the New Walk Museum in Leicester, and as of 2018 is on display at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:30 UTC on Friday, 1 June 2018.

For the full current version of the article, go to

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